—Healing through Foods
Stacey Isaacs is a professional chef with a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine. She is also the writer and creator of Kitchen Of Youth. Stacey take simple, classic, popular recipes and give them a unique twist. We are amazed by how her unique twist makes the recipes more delicious.
Please, take a look!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a professionally trained chef with a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine and a license in acupuncture. I heal people with food and herbs. I take my love of all things food related and I combine that with my expertise in Chinese medicine to figure out what is going on in your body. I counsel people privately via Facetime and Skype, I speak at wellness retreats, I create recipes, write for my blog, and photograph it all for people to see.
I got started in alternative medicine because I needed to heal myself. For many, many years I was extremely sick with horrible digestive issues. I was told I may have ulcerative colitis, IBS, ulcers, and more. I was on a ton of medications just so I could get through the days. Then I discovered alternative medicine. And I’ve never looked back. As soon as I realized the power of food as medicine, I was able to get off of every single medication that I was on and I was able to live my life pain-free with a healthy digestive system.
I am most proud of my achievements with my private clients. Together we have lowered blood pressures so that people can actually come off of their blood pressure meds, we’ve fixed countless digestive issues so nobody has to live in pain like I did, and we’ve increased athletic performance so much that a professional golfer actually has been winning tournaments for the first time ever. And this is all by using food, herbs, and supplements. The other thing that I am exceptionally proud of is that I was able to have a cookbook published last year. The Chinese Medicine Cookbook explains Chinese medicine principles as they relate to wellness and food and it includes many of my favorite recipes for all types of diets.
What was your first encounter with cooking/first awareness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
I started seeing an acupuncturist for my sleep problems and that worked so well! I found it so fascinating that I started learning more and more about it. I was so inspired, that I enrolled in school and earned my Master’s in Oriental medicine/herbs and got a license in acupuncture. It was a natural extension for me to apply all of these amazing principles to all I already knew about food and cooking.
What are your must-haves in your kitchen?
My must haves in my kitchen: healthy fats, healthy proteins, superfoods, Chinese herbs. I am a cookbook addict. I have lots of cookbooks that I draw inspiration from and that make me happy. Even though I love to peruse my favorite online sites and blogs, feeling the actual book in my hands makes me happy.
Favorite Cookbooks: All of Ina Garten’s books are incredible. I love to take some of her recipes, draw inspiration, and then healthy-them-up with my ingredients. I also live by “The Tao Of Nutrition” – it’s a great reference in terms of the properties of Chinese medicine and how they relate to foods.
Tools: I use my Vitamix many times a day. I make soups, sauces, and smoothies a lot. Because I like to eat dairy-free, a Vitamix really makes my life easier because I can make velvety cream sauces out of cashews and cauliflower. I can also make smoothies with tons of nuts and seeds and everything comes out smooth and silky. I also love my simple microplane because I love to grate citrus zest on everything – it’s healthy and it brightens up the flavors of everything. I also finally bought a great juicer – I love green juice but my favorite is red juice. My must haves in terms of ingredients: nuts and seeds (sesame, hemp, chia, sunflower, pumpkin), extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, grain-free pastas, garlic, onions, scallions, green tea, and lots of fresh leafy greens.
Which herb/healing ingredients do you use most often and why do you use them?
Food Is Medicine. I say this all the time. It is really true. I healed myself with foods and I heal others too. When you eat what your unique body needs and omit what is harming it, it is truly life-changing. I truly believe that every single time you put something in your mouth, it’s another chance to heal yourself. My tagline on Instagram is “Don’t settle for feeling meh.” People think that it’s normal and it’s okay to not feel good, but it’s not, and nobody needs to feel poorly on a consistent basis. For my own wellness, I make sure I consume healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut products. I also use a lot of superfoods/Chinese herbs: ginger, goji berries, garlic, scallions, bee products, mushrooms, seaweeds.
As winter is approaching, what is your favorite dish to cook?
Here are two of my favorite recipes that use the ingredients I speak of above: Immune Boosting Onion Chicken Soup and Borscht With Beef – it’s soup season here…
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Good morning, Stacey,
I have been cooking through your book “The Chinese Medicine Cookbook” and so enjoying it! My husband suffers from unrelenting digestive issues so I have been trying to find recipes that can ease his discomfort. How can I hire you to analyze what he needs to heal? We are in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I would appreciate any input that you might have. Your food is delicious as well as nutritious. Many thanks, Linda
For those of us who are culinary challenged do ever teach seminars on how to cook Chinese Medicine Meals? I live in Ohio so it would have to be long enough and in depth enough to travel. Are there classes/courses on cooking Chinese Medicine Meals in Ohio or Indiana?